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INTELLIGENCE

The acceleration of research on animal intelligence or cognition in the last 50 years has led to a rapid expansion in the variety of species studied and methods employed. This body of research has increasingly shown that, like humans, non-human animals (including fish) are goal seeking agents that acquire, store, retrieve, and internally process information at many levels of cognitive complexity. Most are highly intelligent in specialized ways. Rats are good at exploring mazes and handling things with their paws. Pigeons excel at visual discrimination, like most birds. Bees are exceptionally good at mapping the location of pollen sources and conveying this information to other bees in the hive. Chimps, our closest relatives among non-human primates, are capable of many forms of complex cognition, often performing tasks in ways that are strikingly similar to humans.

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